Bundaberg Mayor Jack Dempsey will run in the federal election against Resources Minister Keith Pitt in the Hinkler seat


Former Liberal National Party cabinet minister and prominent Bundaberg mayor Jack Dempsey said he would contest Hinkler’s seat as an independent in the next federal election.

Mr Dempsey said in a statement last night that he would take his leave as mayor after the election was officially called.

The electorate has been represented by PNL member and Minister of Resources and Water, Keith Pitt since the 2013 federal election.

Mr Dempsey, who served in the Newman government as police minister, described himself as a ‘full independent’ who has ‘no allegiance to anyone’.

“I’ll do what’s best for the people of Hinkler in that I’ll go and see – it’s common sense – who has the bigger majority… and try to negotiate for Hinkler first,” did he declare.

Hinkler’s seat – which encompasses Bundaberg and Hervey Bay – has been in the hands of the National Party and the LNP for nine terms.

Mr. Pitt currently holds the seat with a 14.5% margin.

Resources Minister Keith Pitt has held Hinkler’s seat since 2013.(ABC News: Ian Cutmore)

Mr Dempsey took aim at the current MP, accusing him of being ‘out of touch’ with residents of Hinkler’s constituency.

“Mr. Pitt is out of touch with the local community on climate change, the housing crisis, flood mitigation and coal mining.

“I will be the MP for Hinkler, not the MP against, like Mr. Pitt has been on marriage equality, flood mitigation, climate change, hospital and highway upgrades and the cashless card .”

Pitt defends his record as a local MP

Mr Pitt said taxpayers “have the right to demand the resignation of the mayor of Bundaberg”.

“Independents are the voices of Labour, they don’t vote with us, they’re not in government or opposition, they just can’t deliver anything that matters.”

Mr Pitt said he stood by his case and dismissed claims that Hinkler was taken for granted.

“Local councils have never received so much support from the Commonwealth, they each have around $12 million for local roads and community centers and support, $600 million for the Paradise Dam and hundreds of millions for the Bruce Highway,” he said.

Mr Pitt said he would not back down in his strong support for the cashless wellness card.

“It’s a tough but necessary policy,” he said.

The Bundaberg region “one of the most disadvantaged” in the country

Dempsey said local residents were growing frustrated with what he said was a lack of representation at the federal level.

“Hinkler’s voice is very important to being in Canberra and I want to be able to work for Hinkler,” he said.

“Not being a member of the party machine works for the party here in Hinkler.

“That’s obviously been happening for many years now and people are frustrated and they want to be able to escalate their issues in Canberra in a positive way.”

He said if it was a hung parliament he would negotiate with the largest party first.

Mr Dempsey, who turned 56 yesterday, said the Bundaberg region was ‘one of the most deprived areas in all of Australia’.

Mr Dempsey said his main areas of interest would be the region’s older and younger people, including youth unemployment, and that he would work to put the region on the map with bioenergy and technology agricultural.

Source link


Comments are closed.